What Action Should You Take If You Or Someone Youre With Is Having An Asthma Attack
Most asthma patients will have an asthma action plan in place, which outlines what to do in such an event. However, if youre not familiar with their plan, or the asthma attack catches you or them off guard, there are a number of practical steps to take to help deal with the situation.
- Phone the medical emergency number of the country youre in, or get someone else to phone for you, and ask for an ambulance
- Remain as calm as you can, as stress can make asthma worse. Be calm and reassuring if youre with someone whos having an attack
- Breathe slowly and deeply, or encourage the person youre with to do so
- Sit upright in a comfortable position and loosen any tight clothing leaning forward slightly may aid breathing during an asthma attack, so try sitting the wrong way round on a chair and lean forward onto its back
- Use your asthma reliever inhaler while you wait for help if there is a spacer to hand, use that to deliver the medication, as a spacer helps the puffs of an inhaler get into the airways more efficiently
- Stay with the person until help arrives and keep monitoring them. If they seem drowsy or exhausted, it could mean their asthma is getting worse.
Be aware that cold air can make asthma symptoms worse, so avoid taking someone having an asthma attack outside.
Surprising Signs Of Adult
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That persistent cough that keeps you up at night may stem from more than just a tickle in the back of your throat. It could be adult-onset asthma.
Many people experience a jolt of disbelief when they are diagnosed with asthma later in life, especially if they have never experienced symptoms before. Asthma? That condition that causes kids to wheeze?
It turns out adult-onset asthma is far more common than many people realize. Asthma is often considered a disease of children, so adults may be surprised when they are diagnosed with asthma, says pulmonologist Javier Pérez-Fernández, M.D., the critical care director at Baptist Hospital of Miami.
The number of people with asthma grows every year. Currently, more than 26 million Americans have asthma, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.; Of those cases, more than 20 million are among adults, with the greatest number of cases among ages 35 and 65.
Asthma is a chronic inflammation of the lung airways that can lead to coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath or wheezing. Among adults who develop asthma later in life, the symptoms may initially be more subtle than in children, which can cause patients to overlook or ignore the condition. But its important to treat symptoms as soon as possible so they dont become severe, said Dr. Pérez-Fernández, who also serves as director of pulmonology for West Kendall Baptist Hospital.
How Is Asthma Different When Youre Older
You may notice new challenges with your asthma as you get older. For example:
- Symptoms may feel harder to control
- It can take longer to recover from an asthma attack or get over colds and flu
- Side effects from asthma medicines can be more noticeable
- Other conditions alongside asthma are more common.
Some of these challenges are to do with natural ageing. As we get older, our lungs are less strong, and our immune system can take longer to fight off infection.
The good news is, there are plenty of ways to manage these changes, with your GPs support, says Dr Andy Whittamore, Asthma UKs in-house GP. And positive things you can do to keep your body and mind healthy in later life.
Diagnosed with asthma later in life?
Asthma diagnosed later in life is known as late-onset asthma. This kind of asthma is more common in women, often starting around the menopause.
Symptoms sometimes start after a viral infection. Some people may have needed steroid tablets or an inhaler for chest symptoms a while before they were given a diagnosis, says Dr Andy.
Its not uncommon for late-onset asthma to go undiagnosed or to be misdiagnosed as another condition, like a chest infection or heart disease, says Dr Andy.;;
Childhood asthma come back?
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How Long Asthma Lasts For
Asthma is a long-term condition;for many people, particularly if it first develops when you’re an adult.
In children, it sometimes goes away or improves during the teenage years, but can come back later in life.
The;symptoms can usually be controlled with treatment. Most people will have normal, active lives, although some people with more severe asthma may;have ongoing problems.
Sinusitis And Other Upper Respiratory Infections
Much like asthma causes inflammation in the lining of your airways, sinusitis causes inflammation in the mucus membranes that line your sinuses. This makes the membranes put out more mucus. If you have asthma and your sinuses get inflamed, your airways may too. Prompt treatment of a sinus infection can relieve asthma symptoms.
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Vaccine Distribution In Canada
As part of the Canadian Thoracic Societys COVID-19 Respiratory Roundtable panel representing Canadians living with lung disease, Asthma Canada signed a joint statement titled Prioritization of Canadians with Lung Disease in COVID-19 Vaccination Rollout. Alongside other lung health organizations, Asthma Canada is urging;federal, provincial and territorial governments to prioritize people living with lung disease who are at higher risk for more serious COVID-19 complications in the vaccination rollout.;From Canadians living with a lung disease such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , cystic fibrosis, lung cancer, pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary hypertension, and pre- and post-lung transplant, there is widespread concern regarding when in the vaccine rollout in the provinces and territories they will have the opportunity to receive the vaccine.
We will continue to advocate for our community on this subject and will share more information as it becomes available.
Asthma Triggers In Adults
People with asthma have airways that are more sensitive to some things that may not impact people without asthma. The things that set off or start symptoms are called triggers.
Adults with asthma are sensitive to the same kinds of triggers as younger people. However, every person with asthma has a different experience, and everyone may have a different trigger. You may have more than one trigger which flares up your asthma symptoms.
Triggers may include:
- in certain circumstances, thunderstorms.
Remember, for most people with asthma, triggers are only a problem when asthma is not well-controlled with preventer medicine.
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Asthma Symptoms Can Mimic Other Illnesses Or Diseases Especially In Older Adults For Example:
- Hiatal hernia, stomach problems, heart failure, or rheumatic arthritis can create asthma-like symptoms.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease has many of the same symptoms as asthma. COPD, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, is very common in older adults especially those who are or have been smokers.
Can A Child Outgrow Asthma
Once someone gets sensitive airways, they stay that way for life. This is the case even though asthma symptoms can change over the years. As a child gets older, they may be able to handle airway inflammation and irritants better, so their symptoms may get better. About half of those children get asthma symptoms again when they are in their late 30s or early 40s. There is no way to know which children may have reduced symptoms as they get older. New triggers may set off symptoms at any time in people who have asthma. If your child has asthma, keep quick-relief medicines and their Asthma Action Plan on hand , even if symptoms dont happen often.
Medical Review September 2015.
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Q: How Well Does Treatment Work For Adults With Asthma
Asthma can be more difficult; to control in adults for several reasons:
- Asthma medications;can be less effective;later in life, particularly for those who are obese.
- Oral steroids can worsen glaucoma, cataracts and osteoporosis.
- Being on beta-blockers;for heart problems can increase the severity of asthma.
- The lungs and chest walls are stiffer;and the muscles supporting deep breathing are weaker in adults.
For these reasons, adults with asthma are at increased risk for flare-ups and even hospitalization.
Why Is Asthma Difficult To Diagnose In Older Adults
A diagnosis of asthma may be missed in an older person because symptoms of other health conditions are similar to asthma symptoms and may mask the specific symptoms. Asthma symptoms among older adults are more likely to take the form of coughing with the production of sputum from the lungs. Your physician might interpret those symptoms as being due to other illnesses, such as chronic bronchitis or congestive heart failure.; In particular, heart disease and emphysema, much more common in older adults, especially smokers, can mimic asthma symptoms.
Good to know . . . One of the ways in which asthma is recognized among younger people is by the symptoms of wheezing and difficulty breathing following exercise. When older adults become inactive, the opportunity for asthma to present itself lessens. If you experience asthma symptoms wheezing, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, chronic cough with your regular activities such as housework, shopping, gardening, or walking, be sure to talk with your physician as soon as possible.
When the asthma symptoms are not recognized correctly, they may remain untreated, likely worsening and creating very serious health risks.
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Laughter Found To Be A Trigger Of Asthma Attacks
More than half of people with asthma have symptoms that are triggered by laughter, researchers have found.
Laughter is one more trigger in a long list of triggers for asthma, said study author Dr. Stuart Garay of the New York University Medical Center in New York.
However, among people with symptoms brought on by laughter, nearly half said they could laugh attack-free when their asthma was under better control. To Garay, this suggests that people who get asthma symptoms from laughing should consider tweaking their medicine to improve control of their condition. Laughter-induced asthma may be a sign that you need some adjustment in your medication, he said.
Garay and colleagues asked 235 people with asthma if laughter affected their asthma. They found that 56% of people developed symptoms after laughing, most commonly cough and chest tightness.
However, 47% of people with asthma brought on by laughter said that when their asthma was under good control, they could laugh all they want, and have no symptoms. When their asthmas not controlled, its easier to bring out these symptoms, Garay said.
He emphasized that no one should try to live without laughter to avoid an asthma attack.
The researchers presented their findings last week at the American Thoracic Society International Conference in San Diego.
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Side Effects Of Relievers And Preventers
Relievers are a safe and effective medicine, and have;few side effects as long as they are not used too much. The main side effects include a mild shaking of the hands ,;headaches and muscle cramps. These usually only happen with high doses of reliever inhaler and usually only last for a few minutes.
Preventers are;very safe at usual doses, although they can cause a range of side effects at high doses, especially with long-term use.
The main side effect of preventer inhalers is a fungal infection of the mouth or throat . You may also develop a hoarse voice and sore throat.
Using a spacer can help prevent these side effects, as can rinsing your mouth or cleaning your teeth after;using;your preventer inhaler.
Your doctor or nurse will discuss with you the need to balance control of your asthma with the risk of side effects, and how to keep;side effects to a minimum.
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S Everyone Can Take To Lower The Risk Of Getting And Spreading Covid
- Practice social distancing/self-monitoring/self-isolation/isolation as directed by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
- Wash your hands thoroughly and often with soap and warm water for at least 30 seconds.
- Wear a non-medical grade face mask when you are in public places and in situations where you are not able to maintain physical distancing, like on public transportation or the grocery store.
- Avoid closed spaces, crowded places, and close contact.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as toys, phones and door handles.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, ears or mouth.
- Stay home if you are sick. Encourage those you know who are sick to stay home until they no longer have symptoms.
- Avoid contact with people who are unwell.
- Make sure that you get high-quality information about COVID-19 from reliable sources. The Public Health Agency of Canada is a reliable source of information, as are provincial and territorial public health authorities.
You Wake Up Coughing And Wheezing During The Night
If youre ever jolted awake in the middle of the night by a fit of coughing or wheezing, you may need to modify your severe-asthma management plan.
Properly managed asthma shouldnt wake you up from sleep more than one or two nights a month. If youre losing sleep due to your symptoms more than this, it may be time to discuss treatment modifications with your doctor.
Your peak flow readings are a measurement of how well your lungs are functioning at their best. This measurement is usually tested at home with a handheld device called a peak flow meter.
If your peak flow levels drop below 80 percent of your personal best, thats a sign that your severe asthma is poorly managed. Another sign that your asthma is getting worse is if your peak flow reading varies greatly from day to day. If you notice low or inconsistent numbers, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
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How Asthma Attacks Happen
When you have an asthma attack, your airways narrow and it gets hard to breathe. This can result from spasms of the muscles around the airways, inflammation and swelling of the mucosal membrane that lines them, or high amounts of mucus inside them. You might have shortness of breath, wheeze or cough as your body tries to get rid of mucus.
Why do you have asthma and your friend doesnt? No one knows for sure. Allergies play a role for many people, as do genetics.
If you or a loved one has asthma, its important to understand what your triggers are. Once you figure that out, you can take steps to avoid them. As a result, youâll have fewer and less severe asthma attacks.
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Which Children Are At Risk For Asthma
Certain factors raise the risk of asthma in children:
- Being exposed to secondhand smoke when their mother is pregnant with them or when they are small children
- Genetics and family history. Children are more likely to have asthma if one of their parents has it, especially if its the mother.
- Race or ethnicity. Black and African Americans and Puerto Ricans are at higher risk of asthma than people of other races or ethnicities.
- Having other medical conditions such as allergies and obesity
- Often having viral respiratory infections as young children
- Sex. In children, asthma is more common in boys. In teens, it is more common in girls.
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Your Chest Constantly Feels Tight
Minor chest tightness is common for people with asthma. But frequent and intense chest tightness can mean your severe asthma is getting worse.
Chest tightness is often the result of the muscles surrounding your airways contracting in reaction to asthma triggers. It may feel as though theres something squeezing or sitting on top of your chest.
What Causes Adults To Develop Asthma
At least 30% of adult asthma cases are triggered by allergies. People who are allergic to cats may have an increased risk for developing adult onset asthma. Exposure to allergens or irritants such as cigarette smoke, chemicals, mold, dust, or other substances commonly found in the persons environment might trigger the first asthma symptoms in an adult.
Prolonged exposure to certain workplace materials may set off asthma symptoms in adults.
Hormonal fluctuations in women may play a role in adult onset asthma. Some women first develop asthma symptoms during or after a pregnancy. Women going through menopause can develop asthma symptoms for the first time.
Different illnesses, viruses, or infections can be a factor in adult onset asthma. A bad cold or a bout with the flu is often a factor in adult onset asthma.
Smoking does not cause adult onset asthma; however, if you smoke or if you are exposed to cigarette smoke , it may provoke asthma symptoms.
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You Cant Maintain Your Normal Exercise Routine
You may notice that youre unable to keep up with any type of physical activity if your severe asthma symptoms are getting worse.
Talk to your doctor if you find yourself coughing or having to use your inhaler more often at the gym or during activities like jogging or playing sports. If your chest tightens more often during everyday physical activities like climbing the stairs or walking around the block, you may need to change your medications to get your symptoms under control.
What Are Signs And Symptoms Of Adult Onset Asthma
Regardless of age, asthma symptoms can include:
;;;;;;;;;;; Dry cough, especially at night or in response to specific triggers
;;;;;;;;;;; Tightness or pressure in the chest
;;;;;;;;;;; Wheezing a whistling sound when exhaling
;;;;;;;;;;; Shortness of breath after exercise or physical exertion
;;;;;;;;;;; Difficulty breathing
;;;;;;;;;;; Colds that go to the chest or hang on for 10 days or more
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